Thursday, October 25, 2007

25 Bookplates: Engraving and Printing the Colophon

The colophon says something about the production and limitation of the book. Although I have many cases of type, I have decided that the text of books made by Oak Apple Press should be engraved on wood.

I started by marking out the lettering in Roman capitals on a boxwood block. The next step was to carefully engrave around the letters and then - with equal care - start to clear away the wider parts of the letters:

This is a lengthy process, but it is satisfying when it has been completed. At this point I check the text in a mirror - fingers crossed!

When the text was cut, I drew decorative elements - oak leaves and an acorn - onto the block and started to cut a line around the shapes:

Using a medium sized round scorper, I started to cut away the wood around the decorations:

Again, I cut the wood around the design to a lower level. Finally, I engraved small dots in a regular pattern around the letters. It was time to proof the block which would show any small adjustments that I need to make.

I made a series of small extra cuts, taking the block through four states until I was happy.

In the book, this will be printed on the final page, above the press device already described below.

6 comments: said...

Absolutely incredible. What an inspiration.

Diane Cutter said...

Andy... How lovely! How inspiring! Thank you for all the video clips and blog explanations of how you work...

Annie B said...

So beautiful. I really like the extra movement created by the little dots around the letters.

Lynn said...

Wow, that is just beautiful! I like the negative space of the lettering. I wonder which font you based your lettering on?

Celia Hart said...

Hi Andy
just about to type my comment and realised Annie B has said it for me!
Do you look at insriptions on gravestones for inspirations? - I love the 18th century letter styles. And we saw some amazingly ornate ones in Holmfirth - worth searching out if you're in the area.

All the best for your Christmas shows and the beautiful book.


Anonymous said...

Lovely...and exacting work indeed. How long did it take?